This Researcher Is Giving a Voice to Gay Iranian Men Through a New Book
In a country like Iran, where same-sex acts are punishable by imprisonment and potentially execution, the voices of gay men are rarely if ever heard. But one Iranian researcher is looking to give those men a voice with his new book Voices From Iranian Homosexuals, one of two books he has recently self-published.
Using the pen name Bahram Afrouz, his two books (the other titled Religion and Homosexuality: A Historic Misconception) are available for download for free here on his blog.
In the preface of Voices From Iranian Homosexuals, he describes how his book came together:
After reading Voices From Chernobyl by Ms. Svetlana Alexievich, the idea of writing this book came to my mind. To write it, I traeled around Iran and recorded the experiences of gay people around the country. What comes next is the result of interviews with more than 100 people, [with] only a group of them chosen to be reported. [In] this book, Iranian gays talk about their experiences of being homosexual in a very restricted country where being gay is a crime. To present a better perspective of the situation, reports have been separated based on topics like identity, sexual assaults, attachment needs, love, partnership, being gay [and] elderly, etc. I hope the book clearly shows the wrong prejudices that exist around Iranian gay men, like calling them deviant, sick, etc.
Some of the chapters in his Voices From Iranian Homosexuals book include “I Am Not a Sinner,” “City of Love, City of Loneliness,” “Sentenced to Death,” “Tragedy of Sex Assault” and “The Fear of Being Old and Alone.”
In his other self-published book, Religion and Homosexuality: A Historic Misconception, Bahram Afrouz examines the troubled relationship the world’s oldest religions (and religious leaders) have had with homosexuality, including historic misconceptions of the cause of homosexuality.
Both books are written in Farsi.
If you’re interested in reading Voices From Iranian Homosexuals or Religion and Homosexuality: A Historic Misconception, you can do so here.
Featured image: Elvert Barnes